Valentine’s Day, ’12

Most school mornings, I walk into the boy’s closet and grab something for him to wear.  And then I hang it on his towel rack in the bathroom, and, with nary a thought to his daily outfit choice, the boy gets dressed after his shower.

I do this for one reason:  If I don’t, it would never occur to the boy that just wearing no shirt and the flannel, Batman-print pajama bottoms that he slept in to school would be socially awkward.  The boy has never, ever, EV-AH had any interest in clothes, other than to say, “The Under Armour!  Oh, how I love the Under Armour!”

This morning, I set out a long-sleeved, RED-FOR-VALENTINE’S-DAY, polo-style shirt and a pair of jeans.  And then the boy marched into our bathroom, while Hubs and I were brushing our teeth, and boldly asked, “Is there a special occasion today?” while he held the shirt in his hands.

After spitting Crest all over my sink, I told him, “It’s Valentine’s Day.”

And the boy stared at me and asked, “Is Valentine’s Day a special occasion?”

Not unless you’re giving a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a real-rose-stuffed-into-a-balloon to a girl, it’s not.  Just ask your Daddy.

Of course I didn’t say that, because Hubs has no idea WHEN Valentine’s Day occurs.  He believes that it’s actually a TRAVELING holiday, much like Easter.

The boy then held out his shirt and said, “I no longer like collars on my shirts.  I’ve decided that I won’t wear a shirt with a collar any more, unless it’s a special occasion.  I’ll wear this today, since it’s Valentine’s Day, but I want you to get rid of all the collared shirts in my closet.”

I asked him, “What about your Under Armour polos that you wear for golfing?”

And the boy said, “Well, golf is a different story, Mom.  Some courses ACTUALLY MAKE you have a collar and belt on.  I’ll keep any shirt with a collar that is from Under Armour.”

Apparently, after eleven-point-five years, the boy’s Y chromosome has flared up, and the collared shirt is dead to him.

As he left my bathroom, he also yelled over his shoulder, “And I’m not liking jeans any more, either, Mom!  I just want windpants and sweats from now on!”

And you mothers of girls think that YOU have clothing drama at your house!

In other news, I taught PE today, on a CLASSROOM PARTY DAY, which is like feeding 1,000 squirrels Costco-sized candy bars with a side of espresso and three puffs off of a Cuban cigar, and then releasing them in your house.  The heart-shaped, pink-frosted sugar cookie will send a 1st grader over the edge, and he will cry when he comes to PE.

And then I came home, and listen, people.  I’ll tell you right now that Hubs offered to buy me a rose-stuffed-into-a-balloon from the local Walmart yesterday, but I played my PASS CARD.  I think I lost interest in those the same year that Journey debuted their song, “Separate Ways,” because only a 7th grade girl with braces can appreciate the balloon with a rose inside of it, with a face-splitting grin and a rainbow of love in her heart.

And that grin will stay on her face all day, while she’s in Pre-Algebra, thinking about the gift sitting in her locker.

The locker that has Ricky Schroeder’s picture taped to the inside of the door.

So, roseless and balloonless, Hubs and I did cook dinner tonight, and people, we threw out all the stops.  I shopped for real groceries, and nothing came in a white paper sack labeled JIMMY JOHN’S.  I found recipes online, from gourmet chefs.  And I made asparagus with a lemon sauce, and I made an avocado and strawberry salad with a homemade honey vinaigrette dressing.  Hubs grilled fillets.  And I bought a giant loaf of bread so crusty, Paris could only dream of it.

And yes.  We slathered hunks of that bread with enough butter to sufficiently grease a pig for the fair.

The cute neighbor boy even came over for dinner.

And dinner was outstanding.  I don’t want to brag, but I’m fairly certain the angels sang when I debuted the avocado and strawberry salad, and that the pinnacle of my cooking career has been reached.

And then the real problem with cooking is that someone has to clean up the kitchen when it’s all done.

Of course, it was someone who didn’t have a balloon, but who still appreciates a collar on a shirt.

Happy Valentine’s Day, people.

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